Almost a Victim of a Phishing Scam

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Personal Finance  |  House: Booksie Classic
While internet technology may have provided the opportunity for many writers to earn revenue for their articles and efforts online, it brought with it dangers that can change one's life. One of these are online scams that primarily aim to extract hard-earned money from unsuspecting victims. Here is a story on how a phishing scam is employed. Read on and be informed so that you will not find yourself in a difficult situation.

Submitted: September 28, 2012

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Submitted: September 28, 2012



My engagement in online writing was sustained by even the very scarce trickle of revenue coming from online writing websites that try to attract writers with their offers to help ease a person's financial burden. They say you'll earn as long as you post more than enough articles online so that incremental revenues will add up. Indeed, somehow, after engaging in online writing activity for more than four years, I have another source of income, though minimal, as the time I spent in writing could not well compensate the revenue that I derive from it. Once I stop writing, I also notice that my earnings gradually drop.

I put up my own website, Palawaniana, just to explore the possibility of earning more through the ads that I will put up. I studied how the so-called Search Engine Optimization techniques work. I saw my website gain a high rank and fluctuate all those years due to the constant change in algorithm of Google which provides the stream of revenue for the traffic that my website and articles online receive.

Indeed, there are benefits from my postings here and there, as I see myself jumping from one online site to another hoping to get better terms and income possibility. I gained revenues gradually and saw my efforts pay off. 

The Phishing Scam

All may have been well as I collect my earnings from Google's Adsense as one of those sources of revenue from the ads displayed either in  my website or from my online writing websites. Until a phishing scam tried to steal my earnings from me.

I receive my hard-earned money through Western Union as this is the only way Google Adsense pays its customers outside of the US. I was advised through my e-mail each time I have reached earnings enough to be released. At one of those notices that I can now receive my pay, I excitedly went to the nearest office of the Western Union to collect my earnings. I was able to do so.

Now, when I got back to log-in again to see my e-mails, I had an e-mail, apparently from Western Union that says that the payment could not be released due to information lacking in my profile. I wondered how can that be since I already received my payment.

Upon advice of a friend who is a computer expert, I examined closely the e-mail and noticed that the letter actually came from Westernn Union, a site that looks very similar to the Western Union website. Notice that that site has an extra "n" added to it. The e-mail address also has the same extra "n" on it. I thought of opening the site and I was directed to a site with gibberish written on it. I could not understand the characters and deduced it was a Russian website.

I do not say it was the Russians who did it but someone who hinds behind the cloak of anonymity with their malicious intent. I'm wondering how these people can be so inconsiderate to prey on other people's hard work with their scheming activities. 

I tried to surf the internet to be on guard on such scams. I came to know that I was almost victimized by a phishing scam. Phishing scams are e-mails that appear to come from legitimate sources. Once you answer these e-mails, they will try to extort sensitive information from you. I was glad I had not fallen victim to this malicious intention.

Types of Scams

Now, there are many scams in the internet. There are payday loans scam, lottery scam, bidding scam, purchasing scam, among others. Payday loan scams are scams that prompt you to supply information about yourself in the course of your application for loan. They appear to be legitimate sites but upon closer scrutiny, they are not. Lottery scams are those scams that tell you you have won a prize when in fact you have not entered any lottery. Bidding scams are those scams that ask you to bid a price but then fails to deliver the goods. There are many other scams that arise each time people learn how to get over them. It pays to be up-to-date on these things to prevent being a victim.

I explored ways on how to avoid scams. Great Plains Lending, one of companies that provide loans, cautions its customers not to use e-mails in sending confidential account information, check their credit card transactions periodically, use a good antivirus, among others. 

It pays to be on guard always about the possibility of scammers taking advantage of your innocence. While internet technology has made life more convenient to people, it also has brought with it the danger of online scams that can change your life.

Be vigilant!

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